2014: What to Look Out for in Rock + Metal
2014 is set to be another eventful year in rock and metal for many reasons. Of course, every year is eventful, but if 2014 was a TV show, we'd be anticipating what happens next.
We're pumped about upcoming releases from bands such as Black Label Society, Judas Priest, Foo Fighters, Anthrax and many others, but it's not just albums we're excited for. There are tons of events and unanswered questions connected to this year, and here's what we've been pondering at the start of this new year.
What Will Maynard James Keenan Do?:
In 2014, rock fans worldwide will be asking the following question: "What will Maynard do?"
Maynard James Keenan, one of music's most revered enigmas, has teased a 2014 release for Tool's fifth studio album, but will it finally happen? Excitement for the release is constantly reaching a new fever pitch and the heads of Tool fans everywhere are beginning to explode. The instrumental section of Tool has been jamming on new material, however, Keenan may choose to focus his efforts elsewhere in 2014, perhaps in the direction of A Perfect Circle. APC guitarist Billy Howerdel recently claimed the band has "75 percent of the foundation of [the next] A Perfect Circle record ready to go." Keenan has also released a total of 11 Puscifer works since 2007, so we never know when a new Puscifer record is on the horizon.
Additionally, with Keenan's many passions, including winemaking, martial arts and comedy, the renaissance man may not even put out any music in 2014. What will Maynard do? This is a quintessential question for 2014.
Slipknot's New Drummer:
Since Joey Jordison's surprising split with Slipknot in late 2013, fans have wracked their brains to thinking of a drummer who could possibly replace the longtime staple. That question has yet to be answered, although Slipknot have just entered the studio to record their fifth full-length.
Slayer Without Jeff Hanneman:
Jeff Hanneman's death left a massive hole in Slayer's creative process. As frontman Tom Araya told us in an exclusive interview, "Jeff was like 90 or 95-percent of the band, musically." How does such a legendary band patch over one of thrash's all-time greatest songwriters? It seems like Kerry King has taken to the challenge with serious vigor, having crafted over a dozen possible songs for Slayer's next album. However, King has stated that he simply can't pretend to be Jeff Hanneman.
Tim Lambesis Verdict:
In May 2013, As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis was arrested for allegedly conspiring a murder-for-hire plot against his estranged wife. Lambesis has pleaded "not guilty" to the charges against him, although the vocalist's lawyer revealed that Lambesis' steroid use had greatly shifted his personality. Lambesis is tentatively expected to stand trial in March.
Motley Crue's Final Farewell?:
Motley Crue have been open about embarking on a final farewell tour in 2014, but no details have been hammered out yet. Although Crue released the track 'Sex' in 2012, we're still waiting for the band's next (and final?) full-length album, and it appears as if things are full-speed ahead with production of the band's movie, 'The Dirt.'
Suicide Silence After Mitch Lucker:
This is a big one. Suicide Silence was dormant for about a year after the untimely death of vocalist Mitch Lucker, but after the group recruited All Shall Perish's Eddie Hermida, it was all systems go for Suicide Silence's future. In October, the new version of Suicide Silence announced that they had plans to record a new album. Suicide Silence have a gigantic fan base, but will they accept Hermida as Lucker's replacement?
Awards and Accolades:
There's a sect of rock and metal fans who don't think much of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or awards shows such as the Grammys, but the two events are something millions will be paying attention to. In 2014, we'll see Nirvana and Kiss inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Nirvana made it into the Hall on their first year of eligibility, with the ceremony taking place just five days after the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has hosted some essential performances in the past, including the reunion of many members of Guns N' Roses. The surviving members of Nirvana jammed with Paul McCartney in 2012, writing 'Cut Me Some Slack' and performing it live on various occasions. Also, Kiss bassist / vocalist Gene Simmons said in an interview with Rolling Stone that he would be open to reuniting with Peter Criss and Ace Frehley at the Rock Hall ceremony for a special performance.
The 2014 Grammy Awards has a pretty strong list of Best Metal Performance nominees, including Anthrax's cover of AC/DC's 'T.N.T.,' Black Sabbath's 'God is Dead?,' Dream Theater's 'The Enemy Inside,' Killswitch Engage's 'In Due Time' and Volbeat's 'Room 24' featuring King Diamond. Black Sabbath and Queens of the Stone Age have nabbed multiple award nominations. The awards, which will feature a performance from Metallica, will take place on Jan. 26, so we'll soon find out who leaves victorious on "music's biggest night."
Emergence of New Bands:
What we're looking forward to most in 2014 is which bands will emerge as forces in the rock and metal realms. In 2013, the undisputed buzz band was Ghost B.C., who seemingly came out of nowhere to explode in popularity and tour with metal giants such as Iron Maiden and Slayer. 'Infestissumam' made many 'Best of' lists and the future for Ghost has never seemed brighter. In 2012, one of the most exciting metal bands of the year was Gojira, who stepped up to the next level with the album 'L'Enfant Sauvage.' Along with expanding their fan base exponentially, Gojira were chosen as direct support for Slayer on their most recent tour. Who do you think will emerge as the one must-hear band of 2014?
What's on your mind coming into 2014? Let us know in the comments section below!